How a Few Inches of Freak Snowfall Threw Life Out of Gear in Kashmir

How a Few Inches of Freak Snowfall Threw Life Out of Gear in Kashmir
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Bilal Ahmad Wani

A couple of days ago, when tourists were enjoying beautiful movements of their life across the hill stations of the valley, at the same time, people all over the valley were feeling fearful as they were not ready for adverse weather conditions. People didn’t sleep comfortably throughout the night as they were unaware about the freak snow storm.
Everyone was waiting for the next morning and from the very first light of the morning people started running to their economical assets mostly towards apple orchards in rural Kashmir. It was my story as well and I am a witness to all that we had to suffer. Probably, if I were to make a guestimate, it would be a loss of around two lakh rupees in my case and, at least, millions of rupees throughout the valley. (It is very hard to compensate such irreparable losses)
When I tuned my mobile phone on DD Kashir to listen to the Good Morning J&K program, it was stated three deaths have been reported . From different inputs, roads were blocked due to snow and trees and creates problem for pedestrians. Electricity lines had fallen on roads and there was a total power outage.
Snow disruption continued with roads, railways, hospitals and airports and authorities urging passengers not to travel without getting proper confirmation from authorized persons of different departments. Hospitals were totally defunct due to lack of electricity and staff was struggling to get on to work.
It is worthwhile to mention here that the temperature dropped by 10 degrees from the normal. Kashmir witnessed of early snowfall in 2000, 2009 and, now again, in 2018. From my perspective, it is not due to climatic changes or any other factor, all of this is periodic. Look back into history and see all the natural catastrophic events of Kashmir are periodic and we have to keep ourselves ready for these things and not pay to heed on fake rumors.
Added to the general misery suffered by the masses was the suffering caused to the masses. For the first time in history, students sat for exams in candle light. Authorities even didn’t want to listen to the grievances of the students. There was neither heating nor lighting arrangement in exam halls and there was no electricity in homes for preparing for exams.
Does anybody care?

The author, from Chewa Ullar, Tral, is an Earth Sciences Researcher. He can be reached at: geoibnikhaliq@gmail.com